Book Review of "Beyond Thingification
In an age of declining church attendance, members can come to be viewed as giving units or things instead of real people with needs and stories. By introducing vocational connection groups, Marcus Watson wants to help churches escape that trap by joining in what God is already doing instead of creating ministries intended to get people to show up.
He wants to help churches change the mindset of self-preservation to one of being church. One way to be the church is to restore shalom, a state of well-being. The church’s mission is to bring healing.
In the first 300 years of the early church, there was a strong missionary identity. As the Roman church became organized, it was assumed everyone was Christian. Over the past century, we’ve seen change from what we grew up with. Not everyone identifies as Christian in our country today.
Church members sometimes leave the church work to clergy and missionaries and miss out on seeing God at work in their own vocational settings. This doesn’t just average our job but wherever we use our time.
As we look for where God is at work and join in, you become more involved. You will include more if you don’t just leave everything to the pastor.
Vocational connection groups meet monthly to listen to each other to discover how God uses our passions where we are to bring healing and wholeness to our community. They meet over the time of a year to what new opportunity for ministry may arise to try as a group.
Being aware of the needs in our community where we use the majority of our time opens doors to meeting those needs. Everyone has something to offer if we will listen to each other.
All we have to do to see the state of our world currently is watch the news. There are voices wanting to be heard and understood. How can we offer shalom to the situation? For me, it was getting to know my students’ parents while we did school online due to the pandemic closures. That was something good that came out of a new situation. It built a foundation of closer community. It gave us the opportunity to know each other better. I wanted to be a sustain to them.
Now, I’ll be watching to see where God leads with it or where he is leading me to next.